Rock Against Sexism

Last updated
Rock Against Sexism
Genre Punk rock, etc.
Location(s) UK, North America
Years active1978-

Rock Against Sexism (RAS) was a political and cultural movement dedicated to challenging sexism in the rock music community, pop culture and in the world at large. It was primarily a part of the punk rock music and arts scene.

Sexism prejudice or discrimination based on a persons sex or gender

Sexism is prejudice or discrimination based on a person's sex or gender. Sexism can affect anyone, but it systematically and primarily affects women and girls. It has been linked to stereotypes and gender roles, and may include the belief that one sex or gender is intrinsically superior to another. Extreme sexism may foster sexual harassment, rape, and other forms of sexual violence. Gender discrimination may encompass sexism, and is discrimination toward people based on their gender identity or their gender or sex differences. Gender discrimination is especially defined in terms of workplace inequality.

Rock music is a broad genre of popular music that originated as "rock and roll" in the United States in the early 1950s, and developed into a range of different styles in the 1960s and later, particularly in the United Kingdom and in the United States. It has its roots in 1940s and 1950s rock and roll, a style which drew heavily on the genres of blues, rhythm and blues, and from country music. Rock music also drew strongly on a number of other genres such as electric blues and folk, and incorporated influences from jazz, classical and other musical styles. Musically, rock has centered on the electric guitar, usually as part of a rock group with electric bass, drums, and one or more singers. Usually, rock is song-based music usually with a 4/4 time signature using a verse–chorus form, but the genre has become extremely diverse. Like pop music, lyrics often stress romantic love but also address a wide variety of other themes that are frequently social or political.

Popular culture is generally recognized by members of a society as a set of the practices, beliefs and objects that are dominant or ubiquitous in a society at a given point in time. Popular culture also encompasses the activities and feelings produced as a result of interaction with these dominant objects. Heavily influenced in modern times by mass media, this collection of ideas permeates the everyday lives of people in a given society. Therefore, popular culture has a way of influencing an individual's attitudes towards certain topics. However, there are various ways to define pop culture. Because of this, popular culture is something that can be defined in a variety of conflicting ways by different people across different contexts. It is generally viewed in contrast to other forms of culture such as folk culture, working-class culture, or high culture, and also through different theoretical perspectives such as psychoanalysis, structuralism, postmodernism, and more. The most common pop-culture categories are: entertainment, sports, news, politics, fashion, technology, and slang.

Contents

RAS started in the UK in 1978, and by the mid-1980s also had a presence in North America. It was strongly inspired and influenced by Rock Against Racism and the two movements had many of the same participants.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea lies between Great Britain and Ireland. The UK's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

North America Continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.

Rock Against Racism music festival and campaign

Rock Against Racism (RAR), a political and cultural movement, emerged in 1976 in reaction to a rise in racist attacks on the streets of the United Kingdom, and increasing support for the neo-Nazi National Front at the ballot box. Between 1976 and 1982 RAR activists organised national Carnivals and tours, as well as local gigs and clubs throughout the country. RAR brought together black and white fans in their common love of music, in order to discourage young people from embracing racism.The musicians came from all pop music genres, something reflected in one of RAR's slogans: "Reggae, soul, rock'n'roll, jazz, funk and punk". The movement was founded, in part, as a response to racist statements by well-known rock musicians.

In the UK, it began amid controversy when a Rock Against Racism event hired some Rastafarian reggae bands that some participants felt were misogynistic. This resulted in a discussion of sexism in music and art. The bands (Aswad and Misty in Roots) either responded by saying it was the will of God, or that they didn't know what sexism was. The UK Rock Against Sexism often gained press coverage in the music press, such as the NME .[ citation needed ]

Reggae Music genre from Jamaica

Reggae is a music genre that originated in Jamaica in the late 1960s. The term also denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. A 1968 single by Toots and the Maytals, "Do the Reggay" was the first popular song to use the word "reggae", effectively naming the genre and introducing it to a global audience. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that was strongly influenced by traditional mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, especially the New Orleans R&B practiced by Fats Domino and Allen Toussaint, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae usually relates news, social gossip, and political comment. Reggae spread into a commercialized jazz field, being known first as "Rudie Blues", then "Ska", later "Blue Beat", and "Rock Steady". It is instantly recognizable from the counterpoint between the bass and drum downbeat, and the offbeat rhythm section. The immediate origins of reggae were in ska and rocksteady; from the latter, reggae took over the use of the bass as a percussion instrument.

Misty in Roots are a British roots reggae band formed in Southall, London in the mid 1970s. Their first album was 1979's Live at the Counter Eurovision, a record full of Rastafarian songs. It was championed by BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, helping to bring roots reggae to a white audience. At this early stage, the band was a collective with five lead singers and various musicians, though by the time of the second album proper the band had slimmed down to just three members. Along with Steel Pulse, Aswad, Matumbi, Cimarons and Black Slate, Misty in Roots were one of the most popular English reggae bands of the late 1970s.

God the supreme being, creator deity, and principal object of faith in monotheism

In monotheistic thought, God is conceived of as the supreme being, creator deity, and principal object of faith. God is usually conceived as being omniscient (all-knowing), omnipotent (all-powerful), omnipresent (all-present) and as having an eternal and necessary existence. These attributes are used either in way of analogy or are taken literally. God is most often held to be incorporeal (immaterial). Incorporeality and corporeality of God are related to conceptions of transcendence and immanence of God, with positions of synthesis such as the "immanent transcendence".

In the US, RAS Boston sponsored monthly dance parties at a local gay bar, the 1270. They put out a zine and promoted art events and gigs by non-sexist bands. RAS sponsored music workshops on writing, playing and promoting events.

Boston Capital city of Massachusetts, United States

Boston is the capital and most populous city of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in the United States. The city proper covers 48 square miles (124 km2) with an estimated population of 694,583 in 2018, making it also the most populous city in New England. Boston is the seat of Suffolk County as well, although the county government was disbanded on July 1, 1999. The city is the economic and cultural anchor of a substantially larger metropolitan area known as Greater Boston, a metropolitan statistical area (MSA) home to a census-estimated 4.8 million people in 2016 and ranking as the tenth-largest such area in the country. As a combined statistical area (CSA), this wider commuting region is home to some 8.2 million people, making it the sixth most populous in the United States.

Zine a small circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images usually reproduced via photocopier

A zine is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. Zines are the product of either a single person or of a very small group, and are popularly photocopied into physical prints for circulation. A fanzine is a non-professional and non-official publication produced by enthusiasts of a particular cultural phenomenon for the pleasure of others who share their interest. The term was coined in an October 1940 science fiction fanzine by Russ Chauvenet and popularized within science fiction fandom, entering the Oxford English Dictionary in 1949.

Legacy

Rock Against Sexism's musical and political legacy was many more women playing in bands, working as promoters, and an increased awareness of women's and queer perspectives in the punk rock community.[ citation needed ] Many trace the riot grrrl movement in the 1990s to RAS roots. It challenged heterosexism, homophobia, sexism and elitism, while challenging stereotypes of women, and the way they are represented.[ citation needed ]

Riot grrrl is an underground feminist punk movement that began in the early 1990s in Washington state and the greater Pacific Northwest. It also had origins in Washington, D.C., and spread to at least 26 countries. It is a subcultural movement that combines feminist consciousness and punk style and politics. It is often associated with third-wave feminism, which is sometimes seen as having grown out of the Riot Grrrl movement. It has also been described as a musical genre that came out of indie rock, with the punk scene serving as an inspiration for a musical movement in which women could express themselves in the same way men had been doing for the past several years.

Heterosexism is a system of attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that other people are heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the only norm and therefore superior.

Many later punk bands challenged the machismo of rock'n'roll by diversifying into cuddlecore, as well as the less rockist side of post-punk and new wave.[ citation needed ] It could be argued that RAS may have been the catalyst, as the advent of twee pop in the mid-1980s lead to rejection of the machismo of hardcore punk at the time.[ citation needed ]

Post-punk is a broad type of rock music that emerged from the punk movement of the 1970s, in which artists departed from the simplicity and traditionalism of punk rock to adopt a variety of avant-garde sensibilities and diverse influences. Inspired by punk's energy and DIY ethic but determined to break from rock cliches, artists experimented with sources including electronic music and black styles like dub, funk, and disco; novel recording and production techniques; and ideas from art and politics, including critical theory, modernist art, cinema and literature. These communities produced independent record labels, visual art, multimedia performances and fanzines.

New wave is a genre of pop-oriented rock music popular in the late 1970s and the 1980s with ties to mid-1970s punk rock. New wave moved away from traditional blues and rock and roll sounds to create rock music or pop music (later) that incorporated disco, mod, and electronic music. Initially new wave was similar to punk rock, before becoming a distinct genre. It subsequently engendered subgenres and fusions, including synth-pop.

Twee pop is a subgenre of indie pop that originates from the 1986 NME compilation C86. Characterised by its simplicity and perceived innocence, some of its defining features are boy-girl harmonies, catchy melodies, and lyrics about love. For many years, most bands were distributed by the independent record labels Sarah Records and K Records.

See also

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